For The Nation ISTANBUL — Last February, after nearly four months of interrogations and being forced to sit through lectures extolling the greatness of the Chinese Communist Party, Khayrat Samarkand tried to kill himself in the cell he shared with a dozen other men. “I threw myself at the wall and hit my head repeatedly on it until the guards came,” he said. Samarkand’s injuries were so severe that after a day of treatment in a hospital, the guards simply let him walk out. He…Continue Reading “China Has Detained a Million Muslims in Reeducation Camps”

For The Nation: Miram Shah, North Waziristan—On a sweltering August afternoon in the Pakistani city of Bannu, Malik Ghulam takes a phone call from a relative in Afghanistan. Ghulam is one of the younger elders of the Madakhel, a clan of the Wazir tribe whose members have property on both sides of the Durand Line, the de facto Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The phone call leaves him worried: Someone is crossing the border from Afghanistan onto his tribal land and harvesting pine nuts, one of the few…Continue Reading “In Pakistan’s Tribal Areas, Collective Punishment Is the Law of the Land”

For The Nation: Istanbul — Cups of tea and trays of sugar cubes are passed around in a crowded meeting in Istanbul’s Sisli district on a damp and cold winter night. Dozens of activists are gathered around a conference table littered with buttons and stickers, some with a simple “Hayir,” or “No,” on them, others with the slogan “No to a One-Man Regime.” The fliers are rainbow-colored, a homage to the 1988 campaign to remove Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from power in that year’s plebiscite….Continue Reading “Turkey’s Fateful Referendum: The Road to Dictatorship?”

For The Nation, with Connor Guy In March of last year, Javier Sicilia, one of Mexico’s leading poets, suffered a fate that is far too common in his country today: his 24-year-old son was murdered by a drug cartel. With over 40,000 dead since 2006 from cartel-related violence, and more than 9,000 unsolved disappearances, Sicilia’s plight is in many ways emblematic of his country’s. Shortly after his son’s death, he wrote and circulated an open letter addressed “To Mexico’s Politicians and Criminals,” in which he…Continue Reading “Interview With Javier Sicilia; The Movement for Peace and Justice in Mexico”